As some experts put it, Camry is the king of mid-size sedans. Produced by Toyota, a Japanese company, it’s got a strong presence not only back at home, but also on the American streets. Toyota’s nameplates are known for their durability, reliability, and safety: they rarely break down. So, why would you think about getting a replacement air intake system for this legendary vehicle?
Here are the facts: the best cold air intake for Toyota Camry will greatly improve the airflow inside of the engine bay. And, it will protect the powertrain from whatever the road has in stores (dust, mud, debris – you name it). A decent aftermarket kit can also maximize the engine’s capabilities, boosting the HP, torque, and towing capacity. So, let us check out what the market has to offer!
Best Cold Air Intake for Toyota Camry (Updated December, 2020)
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Best Toyota Camry Cold Air Intake Review
1. K&N Cold Air Intake Kit for Toyota Camry
If this is your first aftermarket intake kit, I bet you’ll be surprised and amazed by the new aggressive sound. The eye-grabbing design deserves our praise as well. Most importantly, the low and high RPM performance is significantly better than with the stock system. The car takes less time to start, and, overall, feels stronger and more responsive. Now, a lot of drivers believe that filter maintenance is only something that professional mechanics can handle.
However, that’s not really true, and with the K&N cold air intake, you won’t even have to worry about cleaning it until you reach the 100K miles mark. The bad news is – the engineers designed this gear for a wide range of mid-size sedans, not only the Camry. That means you might have to do some drilling or trimming to make sure it’s a tight seal.
K&N’s cold air intake system for Toyota Camry is a keeper. It boosts acceleration, HP/torque, and also looks and sounds good. Maintenance is a piece of cake, too. Folks with basic mechanical skills will be able to handle the installation manually. A less experienced driver might want to let a pro handle it, though.
2. AEM 21-855C Cold Air Intake System
Quality materials, impeccable engineering, and a reasonable price-tag are this aftermarket air intake’s biggest selling points. The premium finish (gunmetal powder coating) and low-restriction tube are also good enough reasons to put your money on this gear. Speaking of the intake tube, it’s manufactured from mandrel-bent aluminum to maximize efficiency. And the filter is very easy to remove and clean – it won’t take you more than ten minutes.
Next, the heat shield was specifically crafted to keep the hot engine compartment air from getting into the filter. So, yes, AEM is all about high-end engineering and superb material/build quality. The only thing that bothered me during the review was the overly loud sounds this gear makes. The fans of growling and roaring might even like it, but for most Camry owners, it’s probably going to be a bit too much.
High-end materials and parts, superb gunmetal powder coating, and above-average efficiency turn this cold air intake into a must-have. As for the cons, it tends to get loud both on low and high RPM, which can be disturbing at times. On the other hand, for some drivers, this is more of a pro.
3. DNA MOTORING Cold Air Intake System
To be able to compete with K&N and AEM, DNA decided to play the most attractive card – affordability. To achieve that, they saved a bit on the overall build-material quality. But, the gear is decent: the filter, the heat shield, and all the other individual parts are well-built and do a good job. I also want to mention the generous set of installation hardware that comes as part of the package (hoses, clamps, bolts, nuts – all of that).
So, that leaves you with a choice: to go with the more expensive cold air intakes, or stick with DNA and save some bucks. The mounting/fitment process is very easy and straightforward. There are no installation instructions available, though, which is a bit strange.
Low-budget, hardware-packed, and capable, DNA’s replacement air intake system is a bargain if you’re low on funds. And while it can’t boast premium build quality, at the end of the day, it will be a good investment.
Toyota’s Camry isn’t a performance-oriented vehicle. Its main job is to take you to the office, the local groceries, and bring the kids back home from school. It’s all about comfort, safety, and reliability, not racing, towing, or anything else. With that said, an aftermarket air intake kit will still be a very good investment. First of all, you never know when the engine is going to get dangerously close to overheating.
Secondly, even for a mid-size sedan, the gains in HP, torque, acceleration, and especially fuel efficiency will always be right up the alley. So, make sure you pick the intake system that meets your needs and fits your budget. With DNA Motoring, you’ll get a decent product at a reasonable price. AEM focuses on premium parts, while K&N is all about good looks and performance.